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The Sassy Lass: Buses, Ground-Up Glass and How to Dump a Mayor

The Sassy Lass: Buses, Ground-Up Glass and How to Dump a Mayor

¿Que pasa Burqueños? This is the Sassy Lass, your friendly neighborhood brainiac. In this edition, we’re looking at driving buses, grinding glass and ousting mayors.


Dear Sassy Lass: I see city buses traveling outside the Albuquerque city limits, like the one that goes north on Fourth Street into Los Ranchos. Who pays for this service? The county? Other municipalities? How many buses are there like this?

Route No. 10, which runs on North Fourth Street, goes from downtown Albuquerque through the village of Los Ranchos, then back out into the City of Albuquerque for its final stop at the Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center (9800 Fourth St. NW). Partial funding comes from ABQ Ride, as well as from transportation bonds voted on by Bernalillo County taxpayers.

Within the Albuquerque Metro area, four bus routes that run outside of city limits are funded by either ABQ Ride and/or the Rio Metro Regional Transit District: the No. 96 Crosstown commuter bus; the No. 155 Coors commuter route; the No. 251 Rio Rancho/Rail Runner Connection; and the No. 551 Jefferson-Paseo bus. The 790 Rapid Ride Blue Line, which runs from UNM to the Northwest Transit Center, is an ABQ Ride route.

The Transit District also provides bus service for Sandoval and Valencia counties.

Dear Sassy Lass: My wife wants to recycle glass bottles, even though the City of Albuquerque doesn’t have a bottle program. I say that there’s no shortage of sand, which is where glass comes from. It’s not like recycling aluminum, which is more energy-efficient than mining and smelting new aluminum. What’s your take on recycling glass?

So your wife wants to go green with glass, but you’re not totally convinced. As with every decision, there are advantages and disadvantages to recycling glass products.
When you recycle, you’re converting waste into new usable material. Since glass is inorganic, it doesn’t decay or experience degradation from everyday use, which makes it ideal for recycling – not just once but many times over.

Glass recycling is also efficient, reduces industrial pollution, uses less energy and conserves natural resources. Making new glass from scratch with limestone, sand and soda ash requires more heat and pressure than fashioning glass from cullet (glass that’s crushed and ready to be re-melted).
Not all forms of glass can be recycled, though, which is one of the disadvantages. Light bulbs and window panes can’t be recycled because of impurities. Glass recycling is also expensive, labor-intensive, and costs jobs in new glass creation.

By the way, the City of Albuquerque does allow glass recycling at 15 of its 18 approved recycling locations – just not in the blue curbside bins.

Dear Sassy Lass: What would it take to, hypothetically speaking, recall the mayor of Albuquerque? Say that people fed up over the ART project decided to get rid of him. What’s the process? What would that entail? What grounds have to be cited?

Well, Recall-ready Reader. That’s quite a hypothetical question you’re presenting.

Despite Mayor Richard J. Berry’s claims of job creation and increased business prosperity, less than 30 percent of Albuquerque’s registered voters support the Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project, which would put dedicated bus lanes in the middle of Central Avenue for ten miles, reducing car traffic to one lane in each direction.

In order for fed-up city voters to recall Mayor Berry, there would need to be a recall election, in which they could remove him from office via direct vote before his term was out in 2017.

Article III, Section 1 of the Charter of the City of Albuquerque, aka “RECALL”, states that a recall election must be initiated through a set series of procedures. First, a notice of intent must be submitted to the City Clerk. A petition of recall is required, but it needs to be approved by a Bernalillo County judge who must examine the “factual allegations supporting the grounds of misconduct in office or violation of the oath of office” – say, ignoring numerous complaints from constituents about a major bus project.

After a judge approves a mayoral recall petition, you have 60 days to collect signatures from registered voters. You’d need to get one-third of the voters from the most recent mayoral election to sign it. If 75,000 voters participated in Albuquerque’s 2013 election, you’d need 25,000 signatures on the recall petition.

Next, you’d have to file the petition signatures with City Clerk Natalie Y. Howard, who would certify that you have the requisite number of signatures to proceed. After signature certification, the city clerk would have 90 days to hold a recall election.

Got Q’s? The Sassy Lass might have some A’s! Send your questions to thesassylass@freeabq.com today. Your question could be next.

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